Organize Your Home in 15 Minutes a Day

Keeping My Home No Comments

Before Christmas I started using a strategy to organize my home.  Each afternoon I set the timer for 15 minutes and started working on a project.

  • Why 15 minutes?
  • Why in the afternoon?

I am often tired in the afternoon and don’t have the “thinking” capacity to work or create.  So, the afternoon is a perfect time to do some mindless activity…like organize a room, clean a closet, sort through stacks of papers.

When I get a chance, I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and head to my project.  By setting the time, I have a deadline and work as quickly as possible to finish my task.

What have I done in 15 minutes?

What can “you” get done in 15 minutes?

  1. Organized a guest bedroom, clearing out all boxes and putting all stacks of paper in its proper place
  2. Organize & wrap Christmas gifts
  3. Clean the kitchen counters
  4. Clean my desk
  5. Unload the dishwasher, Reload the dishwasher
  6. Fold the laundry
  7. Clean the shelf above our staircase
  8. Organize my fabric by color-into rubbermaid boxes
  9. Organize stacks of magazines around the house into crates. I found empty crates in our garage & put them in our extra room upstairs. I have baskets & stacks of old magazines & sorted through them, keeping some & giving away others to our public library.
  10. Clean a bathroom
  11. Put the loose books around my house back on the right bookshelf
  12. Iron 2 shirts
  13. Iron napkins, placemats
  14. Reorganize my cloth napkins & tablecloths
  15. Move all my old videos into an old dresser in our TV room (Yes, I still have a VCR so I can watch some old videos)
  16. Collect all cassettes & videos we need to take to Half Price Books
  17. Clean the drawer under the kitchen telephone…we all have that drawer :-)
  18. Put all my ribbon rolls on a dowel and hang
  19. Organize my kid books so I can loan them to young homeschooling moms
  20. Organize old curriculum that I’m saving for my kids or can loan
  21. Dust all picture frames
  22. Dust living room & dining room
  23. Collect all single sheets of scrapbooking paper and put in file according to color
  24. Clean desk drawer and use silverware tray to put back everything
  25. Collect office supplies and put in rubbermaid box with label of what’s inside.
  26. Collect all miscellaneous candles and put in rubbermaid boxes according to size or color
  27. Organize drawer of kitchen towels, washcloths &/or hot mitts
  28. Organize kitchen cabinets of cups, glasses, mugs
  29. Organize kitchen cabinet of party serving dishes
  30. Clean my bedroom dresser top (yes, mine is the messiest in our room)
  31. Clean Steve’s dresser & bedside tables
  32. Clean my closet shelves
  33. Organize my shoes
  34. Find all clothes hanging in my closet that I haven’t worn the last year. Put in bag to donate.
  35. Put clean sheets on all beds
  36. Organize all video games

What project can you do in 15 minutes?

Share as a comment & let us all find something we can do in 15 minutes.

Blog Candy Winner & Organizing Tips

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Thanks for everyone that shared their one-word for 2012.  I loved it.  Hope you did too!

Since we got so many cool words to consider for 2012, I am trying to convert all the words into a printable.  Give me a few days & hopefully I will have a printable for 2012 One Words

Oh yeah…Lisa is our winner.  Lisa’s word is “reclaim”…striving to reclaim:

  • my enthusiasm
  • the wasted time
  • my faith
  • the goals I haven’t met

Lisa will win a copy of my ebook, Let’s Get Organized.  Congrats to Lisa…watch your email for your book.

Remember to check our blog this week.  You’ll find:

  • 4 part series on Setting Goals for Homeschool Moms in 2012
  • Over 35 words to contemplate in 2012
  • 15 Minute Tip for Organizing Your Home in 2012 – Coming Soon

Daily Lists for Homeschool Moms

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Long-term and short-term goals are great to have as you move forward in life, as long as you are using daily lists.  However, these longer term goals can sometimes be philosophical, not very practical or measurable.  I want to share a strategy I use to plan my week & days.

A good way to have a manageable list is to have a daily and weekly set of goals. By doing this you will be always in the position of going towards you life plan goals. Everyday will give you the opportunity to fulfill a certain goal giving you the feeling of accomplishment.

to do list

First, create a “to-do” list for today and the next day and the next! Every morning I keep a blank piece of paper next to me as I read my Bible.  When ideas or tasks pop into my head, I write them down.  When I finish my quiet time, I evaluate my list, comparing it to my weekly goals.

When I get to mid-afternoon, I sometimes have a brain-drain!  I can’t remember what I am suppose to do that day.  All I have to do is find my list and see what hasn’t been crossed off.  It’s a great memory tool as my mind forgets viagra mastercard.

Always review your plans and prepare for contingencies.

As a mom, you know there is always a need for contingencies.  When my oldest was born, I heard that moms should list “to do” tasks on multiple days.  If you don’t get a task done the first day it is listed, you still have time to complete it on the next day.  AND…you don’t feel guilty for taking 2-3 days to complete a task and ultimately fulfill your goals.

This is the first week of January and many of you will be more relaxed with your schedule, whether or not you homeschool.  It is the PERFECT TIME to set goals for 2012.

Get some blank paper and start planning.

You will be glad you did!

Setting Goals Strategies: Putting Goals Into Action

Keeping My Home, Moms 1 Comment

Here are some pointers that should be taken into consideration in setting goals and achieving them.  I’ve marked resources for some of these areas for you to study further.

Target

1. Prayer and Bible reading play a very big role in setting and achieving your goals.

You must ask yourself if there is anything in your goals that does not follow God’s Word.  If so, your plans will turn into disarray! If you are unsure about your goals, spend time on your knees praying for God’s direction for you and your family.   Otherwise you will always miss your mark.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the cousel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord
And in His law he meditates day & night.
Psalm 1:1-2

2.  Education is key in achieving your goals

If your goals require you to have a certain kind of knowledge, make plans in getting the appropriate knowledge and education.  Set aside a specific time each day to work towards that education.  I usually try to read at least one hour per day to educate myself so I can mentor my children to be great leaders.
Raising-Leaders.com is a good resource for moms who want to continue their own education or provide an education for your kids to become leaders.

3.  Many of you desire to quit your job and work at home. 

If working at home so you can gain freedom for you and your family is a goal of yours, write it down.  Or, maybe you want your teens to have a choice between working for themselves or for someone else.  Wherever you sense God leading, write it down!  Begin researching how you can set up a family business so you can eventually replace your day job.
Avoid mistakes of Self-Employed Business people
StephenBeck.com

4.  Your family should never be left out of your plans.

At the end of this week, write down the goals you have drafted.  Share these with your spouse and discuss the pros/cons of each goal.  Be sure both parents are in agreement with the goals you have set.  If not, go to God and pray for his wisdom.  He may want you to submit to your husband’s direction.  Continue to pray about the difference, but be sure you are always submitting to your hubby.  God will reward you for this.

Steve & I planned our goals for 2012, just last week.  This past Monday, we reviewed our goals and how we would start implementing this week.

5.  Personal, financial situations also play a major role in achieving your goals.

Have a realistic goal on how much you really want/need to earn. Look at the debt you have accumulated and develop a plan to reduce debt. You also must be able to create plans or stages by which you will be able to reach your earning potential.

6.  Goals for Health & Fitness

We live in a society that spends most of its time in front of a screen (TV screen, computer screen, movie screen).  We must “make the time” to keep our bodies physically fit.  Jot down goals to exercise, eat healthy and enjoy your family through games and play.  If you don’t plan for it, it won’t happen.

7.  Physically gifted children may be able to achieve sports related goals…

…like playing for the local homeschool basketball team or high school football team.  Determining your children’s physical capabilities should be one of your priorities. Sports are a great way for your children to learn character lessons and grow in Christ.  But, you must be careful to guard your family time so that sports doesn’t become the highest priority in your family.  In other words, don’t forsake family time and family devotions for too many basketball and softball games.

Beach

8.  Plan for Relaxation

As the saying goes -’All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is by all means true down to the last the letter. Giving yourself a little pleasure should be included into your plans.  Plan this year to get away with your spouse for at least one weekend.  Begin planning now…get the grandparents to watch your children.

The above discussion sums up the categories you can use to prepare your goals:  Spiritual, Education, Family, Financial, Health-Fitness, Career/Job.

It is best to have some very long-term goals (20+ years), but to start right now, I’d suggest 5 year goals and 1 year goals in each of these areas.  Then break these down to 6 month plans then monthly plans, then weekly, then daily.

Goal Setting for Homeschool Moms

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In my recent post, I discussed the importance of goal setting as a Mom.  Without a vision, the people perish.  This includes stay at home moms and especially homeschool moms.

What’s your vision for your family?

Where do you start in setting goals to accomplish that vision?

1.  Write down your vision.

Decide what you really want to do or what you want to do as you raise your children to be Godly leaders.  These are life goals for you and your children.  This is your overall vision.  For our family, an overarching vision was to raise children who could think Biblically & critically.

Set Goals

2.  List short term and long term goals necessary for you need to achieve lifetime goals.

Our family chose subject activities to encourage critical & Biblical decision making.  This included choosing formal school subjects, as well as having in depth discussions at our dinner table.

3.  Break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete.

What do you want to accomplish this year?  this month?

Look at where you are as a family right now as you decide these manageable goals.

Our short term goals included one topic each week for dinner discussions.  We also had to make a point to eat dinner together.  We were all on board so we ate at a variety of times ranging from 5:30 to 9pm.

4.  Write down daily activities so you can achieve your goals. 

It is imperative that you write down your goal.

I have a small notepad next to my Bible.  When I read my Bible each morning, I write down any idea that pops into my head.  This keeps me focused on my Bible reading, without forgetting ideas I have.  During my prayer time, I can pray about any ideas I’ve written down.

5.  Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

At breakfast, I re-read my list and put times/priorities on my list so I stay focus on what is most important for that day . . . after praying about my list.

These are just a few ideas I use when setting goals.  Each year you can re-evaluate last year’s goals as you set goals for the upcoming year.

Christmas Rolls

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For our Christmas Eve meal, we generally have my homemade bread.  Christmas is the only time I make my bread, so it’s a treat.  This year, I decided to take the dough and make rolls.  Here’s what I did.  You can easily do the same thing with pop out of the can biscuit dough.

Dough is rising (or popping out of the can :-)

Kids can do this part. Roll dough/biscuit into 12 inch roll.
I kept flour nearby so the dough wouldn’t stick to my hand.

Form roll into knot.

Place on baking sheet.
Bake at 400 about 10-15 minutes or until golden

Brush with olive oil mixture
Olive oil, Garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings

Mrs. Santa’s Party Mix

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I wanted to make a new party mix with “Santa hats”.
Unfortunately, I could not find red melting candy disks before Christmas.
So I dyed my white candy coating with red (from Wiltons).
Since it was pink, I decided I would have Mrs. Santa hats ;-)

This is a fun activity that even young kids can do…
dipping bugles into white sprinkles or mixing the ingredients together.
And it is yummy!

Spread bugles on wax paper

Dip bugles into melted candy

Forgot to take a photo, but here’s what I did:
Once candy is set on bugle, dip end in red melted candy and
immediately into white sprinkles.
Dip tip of bugle in melted candy and then into mini marshmallow.
Voila: Santa hats!

Mix 3 cups mini pretzels, 2 cups rice chex, 1/2 – 1 cup raisins and 1 cup cashews.
Melt white chocolate and stir together.

Add red & green M&M’s. Mix together.

Add Santa hats and gently stir.

Adapted from Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/kerrybeck/

Christmas Goodies – Candy Cane Kiss Brownies

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I had so much fun baking on Christmas Eve, as I tried several new recipes from Pinterest.
If you are not familiar with Pinterest, take a look at my account
http://pinterest.com/kerrybeck/
If you want to start your own account, let me know & I’ll send you an invitation.
But beware…it’s quite addicting.

Check out what I baked . . .

Dessert for Christmas Eve Dinner:

Candy Cane Kiss Brownies

Fill mini-muffin pans with brownie mix. Spray generously!

Push candy cane kiss in middle of each brownie. Cover with more brownie dough.

Make chocolate topping by melting 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and adding 2Tbsp heavy cream. Crunch up peppermint pieces or candy canes. I wish I had smashed these into smaller pieces.

Spread chocolate topping and sprinkle peppermint on top.

These are so rich, you can only eat one!

Tuesday Tips: For Smart Homes

Homeschooling, Keeping My Home 1 Comment

Create & Learn suggests 6 things every smart home needs.  Of course, I would assume homeschool families already have these. to use with a variety of homeschool activities

Does your home?

1.  Dictionary

2.  Table for jigsaw puzzles – This assumes you have jigsaw puzzles

3.  Brain Boosting Library – What’s this?  crossword puzzles, mazes, brain teasers, Sudoku.  My kids loved Mind Benders

4.  Domino Set – Learn to play dominos or use them to create knock ‘em down courses.

5.  Special reading spot – Pillows in a corner will do.

6.  World map – Post it on your wall.  Use it to mark places you travel or places in your books.

“Busy”ness

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I posted this article for our Homeschool Super Heroes last week.  I thought you might like it, too.  Originally, I wrote this a few years ago when our kids were still at home. As we work with young families at our church, I believe it is still applicable today. Let me know what you think.

You might wonder what this new word is. It is a short way to describe most of America today. We are BUSY!! A few years ago, Steve & I evaluated our family activities and made some changes in our schedule. We decided that we were too busy.

Too busy for each other.

Too busy for others.

Too busy to help in emergency situations.

Too busy to enjoy our life right now.

In an effort to change our lifestyle, we told our children they could be involved in two activities per year. For them, this meant they must choose which sport or activity they would participate. If it were up to my children, they would choose a sport or activity for each & every season of the year. This has been an excellent training process and we hope will translate to
decision making as an adult.

Read the rest…

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